The blog of The Harvard Crimson

The Weirdest Theses: Nuggets of Gold from the Archives

Sumire Hirotsuru's Senior Thesis Recital
You might not have a thesis this creative, but there are ways you can spice things up...
You thought coming up with a topic for your 10 page expos paper was hard? Try coming up with a topic for an entire thesis. For all you poor souls out there who are scrambling for thesis ideas, we dug through the archives to remind you that not everyone comes up with the most “serious” thesis titles — and apparently, that’s okay. Because these examples literally won prizes.

Give Me Burning.

No context. Is “Burning” a thing, a person, or a place? Can you give someone the action of burning? Titles are supposed to preface the topic of the whole thesis, but we have so many questions and so few answers.

Clickbait.

Ah, clickbait. We love it. We hate it. YouTubers can’t live without it. This thesis has no further explanation in the title; it’s just titled “Clickbait.” If that’s not the literal definition of thesis clickbait, then we don’t know what is.

Can You Just Not.

Can we not? We’re not sure what this thesis is even about, but we had to put it in here just to show how much you can get away with when writing your thesis. Title it whatever your heart desires. Or you can just not.

Vanitas: The Harvard Indifference Epidemic and the Mysterious Med. Fac. Society, 1818-1905.

We love a play on veritas. We think it’s veri-clever. But Harvard students? Vain and indifferent? We could never, but apparently someone spent an entire year writing about the epidemic of Harvard students’ indifference. Whatever.

Drop Out Like It's Hot: Analyzing the Impact of State-Level Legislation on School Completion Rates

We can tell this was written recently. Puns are definitely the best way to title a thesis that only a handful of people will end up reading. Might as well make it funny.

According to these incredible thesis titles, nothing is off-limits when it comes to writing and titling a senior thesis. You don’t even have to give context. Have fun seniors, and if you don’t, remember you can always drop out like it’s hot ;)

What It’s Like to be Quarantined at Harvard

UHS
HUHS daddies us in quarantine.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be medically quarantined at Harvard? Maybe you’ve heard horror stories, or maybe you’re heard how it’s the best thing that could ever happen to you. Lucky for you, this Flyby writer was in quarantine, so here’s some ~investigative~ (if you can call being held somewhere by force "investigative") reporting on all the deets of medical quarantine at Harvard:

The Room

HUHS put me in a DeWolfe room (flashback to my freshman dorm). It’s technically a double, though I am isolated in here, so there are two beds in the bedroom. The other room is a common room. It’s also pretty spacious — I’ve got two desks and two chairs, a fridge, and an oven, though the oven is pretty much useless. I think I’m also supposed to have a couch, but I walked in to find a cryptic note left on one of the desks:

“Hi! We borrowed your couch. Security said it was okay if we left this note.” - The room across the hall.

Considering the note was covered in dust, I doubt “borrow” was the right word, but okay, I guess. I still have two beds.

Rules

You can’t go to class. You can’t have visitors over. In fact, they close the door and don’t give you a key — meaning if you leave, you’re screwed. When you pick up stuff outside of your room, you have to wear a mask. For the days you’re in quarantine, you can’t even leave the room you’re in. (Don’t worry, they provide you a room with a bathroom.) You may be wondering — what about food?

Meals

All your food has to come from HUDS — you can’t order from anywhere else. This is honestly the worst part of quarantine. No Poke for five days is a living hell, yes, but at least you’re not infecting anybody. You have to order the next day’s meals by 7:30 p.m, and you can order anything from the grille or the HUDS menu. They bring it to your door and basically ding-dong ditch you. They knock, leave the food in a bag, and run away for fear of catching whatever it is you have. It’s kind of funny, to be honest.

Check-ins

Nurses call you twice a day to see how you’re doing. Word also spreads quickly, so you also get tons of calls from friends and family. But the most interesting call you’ll get is from the Cambridge Public Health Department, who will try to figure out where you got the disease and who you could potentially give it to.

Snacks

Honestly, Harvard hooks you up pretty well with snacks when you’re in quarantine. They gave me 9 packs of Goldfish, a whole box of granola bars, pudding, chicken soup, 5 bottles of water, and 10 bottles of red Gatorade. (Blue would’ve been too good to be true, but luckily I order blue powerade from HUDS every day.) You can also call Securitas, and they can make an effort to get anything else that you want. I’ve made it a habit to say that my snacks are "looking like a snack" today before eating them...has a lack of human contact already driven me crazy? You decide!

Materials

You can bring stuff from your dorm room before you head into quarantine. I brought more bottled water, all my schoolwork, my laptop, and my phone. They suggest you bring bedding and your work, but not to worry, they also provide you with things. Here’s a list of everything they gave me:

Shampoo
Soap
Towels
Mattress cover
Sheets
Blankets
Pillows
Medicine
Toilet Paper
Trash bags

Also I have two beds, so I made a megabed. Yep. I have a megabed.

So...is it really that bad? As I eat Goldfish in bed, am in limited pain because of a lot of Advil and Tylenol, and bingewatch Netflix, I really can’t complain.

Why You Should Say No to Winternships

Snow Dusted Trees
Do you really want to choose to hang around in this?
Walking through campus you may hear some people talking about “winternships” — the strange time over winter break when some people choose to work instead of relax. But let’s face it, winter break is for taking a much needed mental break and catching up on Netflix (and non-HUDS calories), not for overloading yourself so as to only come back just as stressed as you left.

Do Some Ec10

Before you start considering the prospects of working over winter break, take a moment to do a cost benefit analysis, weighing the benefits of relaxation with the short-lived internship that most likely will not be a fulfilling experience. Just think, would you rather be sipping some hot cocoa and sleeping in, or spending a few weeks continuing the stress that you experienced during all of the fall semester?

Know Yourself, Love Yourself

While some may want to try something new with their internship, or hope to add another few lines to their resume, don’t be tempted to pursue this opportunity just for the sake of following the rest of the crowd. You do you. Recognizing that you need some alone time or some time away from anything remotely related to school is not a bad thing. Just think, after a month at home, you can come back refreshed and ready to take on the spring.

Home. Cooked. Food.

Would you rather be toiling away in a boring office in Boston and living on ramen from your microfridge or eating all the delicious snacks your family makes? Need we say more?

All in all, make the right choice for you. Sure, you can work at a startup or continue conducting research, but keep in mind the benefits of the time you can spend recharging this break. Say no to winternships and end this tragedy before it begins.

Sucking Up to Professors

OH
Ah, office hours...your new home.
You may be realizing that you’re not shaping up to be the academic superstar you aspired to be. Maybe your professor didn’t absolutely love the essay you wrote in the 30 minutes before it was due, or maybe you’ve just realized that participation counts for 30% of your grade in the seminar you sleep through. Fear not, though: this is a perfect time to turn your academics around. It’s late enough in the semester that your professor has started to think about who’s going to be getting A’s but not so late that your efforts will be immediately recognized as blatant brown-nosing. So if you’re looking to make sure your professor recognizes your name without a grimace when grades are due, here are a few ideas to get a head start:

Do the readings before you go to office hours

There is no worse feeling than smugly asking some super-insightful question only to be informed that the answer was fully covered in the readings for Week 3. While one really easy way to avoid this awkward situation is to just not go to office hours, you can also benefit from literally just skimming the materials before showing up. You don’t need to do any hard work, either. Just move your eyes over the section headings and make sure you’re asking something vaguely new-ish.

Basic Social Skills

Yes, it’s incredibly unfair for your professor to insist on meeting at 9 a.m. on the Monday after Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you should give into your (totally valid) urges to scowl at the ground for the entire 75 minutes. Just smiling at your professor when you make eye contact — or asking them how their holiday weekend went — can improve their sentiment towards you by a ton. And besides, when they’re deciding final grades, would you rather they think back to the time you complimented their shirt or the time they caught you glaring when you thought they weren’t looking?

Show the TFs Some Love

Being a teaching fellow seems like the literal worst job ever, but you have the power to make it better for them! Showing some interest in your TF beyond which answers they’re allowed to give you for the problem set or how they’re going to be grading next week’s project can have a big impact on their experience and — transitively — your grades. Does your TF perform independent research? What degree are they pursuing? Are they having relationship problems that you can relate to? Now’s the time to take them out for coffee and find out!

Suck Up Creatively

Now that classroom-to-table is out of money, you’re going to have to think of some new venues for feigning interest in your professor’s research. The sky's the limit here: ask them to take a walk with you, schedule a meeting, or offer to pay for their dinner. Or work your “college-student budget” into conversation often enough that they offer to pay (this happens more often than you might think).

No matter whether you’re aiming to get a rec letter or just some decent grades out of this semester, your professor can be one of your biggest supporters and allies. Good luck making some new friends!

Tips for a Less Miserable Reading Period

The ever-increasing Canada Goose sightings and steadily declining quality of HUDS meals can only mean one thing: the end of the semester is near. Before finals, though, we have to make it through reading period — a weeklong purgatory of not-quite-break but not-quite-grind. Instead of bringing a sleeping bag to Lamont for the week, we’ve collected some festive alternatives.

Roast your profs on the Q

Nothing says catharsis like an extended, anonymous rant about the classes that have made you suffer all semester long. Since your final grades are held hostage until you submit feedback, you might as well check this annoying item off your to-do list now. Typing up all your grievances beforehand may just help you focus during your exams, instead of getting distracted by the built up rage you’ve accumulated over the past months—we love fake productivity. And if you spend your newfound free time perfecting a poetic roast, who knows, you may just get featured in the Crimson.

Host A Friendsmas

You’ve heard of Friendsgiving, now get ready for its winter, not necessarily religious cousin, Friendsmas! The lull in between classes and finals is the perfect opportunity to blast Mariah Carey’s "All I Want For Christmas Is You" on repeat to get into the holiday spirit. Grab your friends, decorate your common room with twinkle lights, make cookies in the Student Oasis (it’s under Mem Church; did you know that we can bake there?), and marathon wonderfully terrible Hallmark Christmas movies. If you want to go all-out, even try organizing a Secret Santa or gingerbread house making competition.

Eat Away Your Feelings

With exams approaching, Harvard gives back to its student body what any smart institution would for college kids on the verge of mental breakdowns: free food. Join the Harvard Square Business Association on December 1st in front of the Smith Center from 1 to 2 p.m. for free latkes. Or on the 15th stop by the Smith Center again from 2 to 4 p.m. to awkwardly avoid eye contact with carolers as you take your your cup of free hot chocolate and make a run for it.

Ice Skating in Boston Common

Voted the best outdoor skating rink by USA Today, the ice skating rink at the Frog Pond in Boston Common is a must for any of us looking to be the next Olympic champion figure skater. A mere 20 minutes away on the T (get off at Park Street), it’s an easy half-day trip that’ll have you forget all the studying you have left to do. Don’t stress about having to bring your own skates: the rink’s got you covered, with rentals available for $12.

ZooLights at Stone Zoo

Looking to really escape the bubble? Head 30 minutes north of Boston to the Stone Zoo. Decked out in twinkling lights, the zoo offers you the chance to see bears and other cute animals in a setting straight out of the North Pole. Need even more motivation? The zoo offers a special “Holiday Hot Chocolate with the Reindeer” program, giving you the opportunity to snap a pic with the real-life Rudolph with sipping some pure chocolate goodness. Count us in.

Newbury Street Shopping

If you’ve been saving up all semester and looking to treat yo’ self, Newbury Street is the place to go. You’ll find stores catering to all styles and budgets on a street that’s packed with breathtaking window displays. If you’re looking to splurge, head to Met Back Bay and take part in their Hot Chocolate Experience, featuring four different types of decadent chocolate. Your sweet tooth will thank us later.

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is the go-to neighborhood if you want to catch a glimpse of Boston’s ~elite~. But what makes a trip to Beacon Hill appealing — aside from the quick T ride — is the plethora of quaint and Instagram-worthy streets with townhouses decked out for the holidays. Wreaths and elaborate Christmas light displays will undoubtedly be out in full force, making all your high school friends jealous they don’t go to school in a city as cute as you do.

How to Avoid the Plague That is College Sickness

University Health Services
If you're staring this view down, it's already too late...
Midterms, freezing temperatures, cuffing season… oh my! Welcome to the causes of college sickness, where few are spared and even fewer are prepared. We all have that one friend that claims he or she never, like never, gets sick. A week ago, I was that friend. Unfortunately, college sickness took this personally, so take it from me and my burning throat: avoid the plague at all costs.

Tip 1: Never Leave Your Room. Ever.

We’re serious. How many people have touched the table at your favorite spot in Lamont? Or the door handle of Annenberg? Yeah, it’s better not to think about it. You never know when or where you’re gonna encounter these illnesses, so your best bet is to stay in your room forever. Your classes are filmed and you have a case of ramen in the common room — use your resources wisely.

Tip 2: Do the Things That, um, Keep You Alive

You don’t have to be premed to understand how sickness occurs (thank god). Wash your hands often with soap and water, avoid touching your face, and hydrate as often as possible. Don’t listen to your favorite elementary school teacher: sharing is not caring. Sharing is just a recipe for a stuffy nose and the worst fatigue you’ve had since last year’s reading period. Sorry, Mrs. Lacey, it’s just not worth it.

Tip 3: Make It a Competition

Harvard likes to be the best at everything, and sickness is no exception. This place finds a way to breed any and all illnesses, even the ones we thought did not exist anymore. Why not turn that competition around? Are you the ~healthiest~ among your friends? The last person to get sick? The best germaphobe around? Congrats, you’ve won good health, which is synonymous with winning the lottery in our books.

Tip 4: Law of Attraction

Maybe, if we just focus on the idea of not getting sick, we won’t get sick. Dream it, believe it. Problem solved.

If only I had listened to my own advice, maybe I wouldn’t be writing this under a pile of tissues in bed. Spread the word (not in person, of course, because germs!) and end this plague once and for all.

Harvard Square Treats for the Winter

As the weather takes a turn for the worse, there’s only one strategy for survival: beginning our reading period hibernation by stuffing our faces with Harvard Square treats. So to make winter’s approach just a little bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite guilty pleasures. After all, it’s basically the holiday season now…right?

L.A. Burdick

This hidden gem is an absolute must. The Signature Hot Chocolate comes in both milk and dark, and tastes like pure chocolate warmth. We’re seriously not kidding. The beverage is the smoothest, sweetest, and most delightfully rich drink ever. There’s even a Spicy Hot Chocolate on the menu if you want to switch it up for some extra punch. It’s not the cheapest hot chocolate you’ll ever have, but it’s divine enough to be worth it.

J.P. Licks

If you’re like us and crave hot chocolate late at night, J.P. Licks has cute hot chocolate kits sold to-go for you to make in the comfort of your dorm — super helpful for those days when the trek across Mass Ave’s (toxic) slush just doesn’t seem bearable. With options beyond just ice cream, this convenient spot doesn’t have to be forgotten in the winter. They also serve yummy hot breakfasts, including savory croissants and oatmeal.

Tatte Bakery

Trust us, Tatte’s not just for law school kids or that Manhattanite friend who eats there every day. For $9.50 at Tatte you can order a pastry basket, fully stocked with two butter croissants, a chocolate croissant, a crisp apple muffin, a piece of sweet bread, and one fruity jam. Perfect to share (or to keep all to yourself, let’s be real), this special is a pastry lover’s dream.

Mike’s Pastry

We know it’s getting cold (and wet), but when did that ever stop anyone from scarfing down a cannoli? Correct answer: never. Just across the street from the Smith Center, Mike’s is perfect for those late-night study sessions in the Collaborative Commons. They’ve even gotten into the festive spirit, with creative menu items like a pumpkin spice cannoli. Pro tip: the M&M pretzel sticks are a great source of quick energy when you’re on the go.

Insomnia Cookies

Even though winter may be coming, you’re still a college student, and that means a trip to Insomnia every now and again is practically required. Close to the river Houses (and unfortunately for our diets, the Crimson building), this slice of cookie-filled paradise is — as we all know — open until 3 a.m. and perfect for any late-night cravings. Often hot from the oven, these cookies always taste better late at night. We’ve also heard it said that if you stop by near closing time, they toss in leftovers with your purchase...why not confirm this magical possibility for yourself?

Crema Cafe

Tucked away next to Felipe’s, Crema has everything you could want for when the weather dips into the twenties: gooey ginger molasses cookies, oh-so-fall pumpkin apple chai muffins, and a cozy interior that will let you instantly forget the nor’easter outside (or your midterm). The zucchini cardamom muffin (hear us out on this one!) has the perfect little kick necessary to help you finish your last pset.

Zinneken’s

Wanted to go to Europe this J-term but flights were just too expensive? Pretend you’re in Belgium by heading down Mass Ave to this cute waffle shop. Specializing in create-your-own waffles and fresh-brewed coffee, Zinneken’s is guaranteed to warm you up if the thought of an upcoming month-long break can’t. If you’ve got an especially big sweet tooth, run next-door to BerryLine while you’re at it.

BerryLine

Because who really cares how cold it gets anyways? BerryLine is BerryLine, meaning it’s timeless. You can literally never go wrong here.

Phone-y Personalities

Are you a lecture texter? A techy Becky? A...letter writer?! Find out which of these phone-y personalities suits you:

iPhone:

We’ve all met you, and, most likely, are you. We can’t pin you down, mostly because you’re pretty boring. You’re image-conscious and hygienic (love to discuss skin care), but you’re also a follower, and you’ve been okay with that ever since you lost the sixth grade class presidency to a guy who now owns an Android. You’ve been known to wake up sweating after nightmares where your texts show up green on another person’s iPhone and you love to tell your one fun fact about Steve Jobs that you garnered from that horrible Ashton Kutcher movie.

Android:

Ahhh, the Android user — the dirtier cousin of the iPhone user who’s been seen in the same Zuckerberg-esque hoodie for three consecutive Thanksgivings. You love ~tech~ and live for the look of shock on people’s faces when you reach into your back pocket and pull out your phone. “They were expecting an iPhone…Aha! Not from a man like me.” Cue evil laugh. You did your research before buying a phone which we agree is commendable — but that does not give you a right to lecture everyone about your “superior bandwidth.” (A euphemism? We hope not.)

Samsung Galaxy:

We’re not sure why this singular phone model has such a vibe unto itself, but it certainly does. Galaxy users are very “off the beaten path,” which is a nice way of saying that they’re not very bright. Somehow, the ads for this phone got lodged in their heads and convinced them that they wanted this phone. No one truly wants this phone.

Blackberry:

You love to work and hate to give off the impression that you have enough free time to be in touch with what’s on trend. You’re very sensitive to light, sound, and general fun. You wore suits in middle school and nowadays you eat "lean" proteins and work out compulsively. People have told you that Blackberries aren’t very "in" anymore, but you were too caught up in another email to hear them.

Anything with a Broken Screen:

You wrote poetry in high school and have sung at more than one open mic. The disheveled nature of your phone reflects the disheveled quality of your soul — and you like it like that.

Writes letters:

You hate capitalism and see the purchase of a smartphone as a capitulation to a ceaseless cycle of increasing inequality. You love it when people ask for your number and you ask for their “address” back. You spend your nights staring out the window. You’re the worst, but we appreciate your dedication.

Cultural Comparison: Canada vs. USA

Tim Hortons
RIP Tim Hortons, Dunkin' simply wont suffice for this Canadian writer.

To many, Canada is seen as a cultural extension of the United States. Canada has one tenth the population of the United State so it’s basically the 51st state, right? Well…we’re about to see. As a Canadian and an honorary American (can I say that after three months here?), I took it upon myself to conduct a very scientific cultural comparison between the two allied nations, with all my free time over this non-Canadian Thanksgiving break.

Fahrenheit, who?!

At some point in time, the United States was plagued with what is now called the Imperial System. Why is 32 degrees freezing? Why is a foot 12 inches when the average foot is only 10? Where’s the logic? Where’s the reason?! Canada (and virtually the rest of the world) is able to function with the logical metric system, where freezing point is 0 and boiling point is 100; a kilometer is a neat 1,000 meters; and everything makes sense in the world! Living in the U.S., I have turned into a walking, talking calculator – I am quickly converting Fahrenheit into Celsius when someone tells me about the weather, and kilometers to miles when people ask how far my run was. My Ec10 problem sets have enough math already without all these additional conversions! Only three countries in the world do not use the metric system: Liberia, Myanmar, and the USA. This is getting out of hand, America, something needs to change!

Tim Hortons vs. Dunkin’ Donuts

Tim Hortons coffee shops are as commonplace in Canada as tourists are at Harvard. I knew that leaving my Tim Hortons behind would not be easy, but I had heard that Dunkin’ Donuts can stand as a somewhat tolerable substitute. Little did I know, I was in for a shock. Given my desire for inexpensive coffee, I decided to undergo my very first Dunkin’ purchase. After the first sip, I understood what a grave mistake I had made. The iced coffee that I had purchased had not been sweetened, so I asked if it could be. Anyone proficient in the art of iced coffee is aware that you need simple syrup for iced coffee since granular sugar won’t dissolve in cold liquid. Tim Hortons is well aware of this information, but Dunkin’ Donuts clearly hasn’t gotten the memo. I watched in horror, mouth agape, as three heaping tablespoons of granulated sugar were promptly poured into my beverage. I gulped down the gritty liquid with discontent and with a hole in my heart where Tim Hortons used to be.

Lastly...

Our Prime Minister is Justin Trudeau, “JT,” who wears flashy socks, is a former high school teacher, won a charity boxing event, starred in a Canadian miniseries, and has his birthday on Christmas Day! He is an icon to rival even the tastiest of snacks at Tim Horton’s.

On the other hand, you guys have… well…you know.

To be fair, Cambridge has treated me pretty well. While I may be missing my Tim Hortons and struggling with everyday calculations, I’ve been able to learn a thing or two, meet some amazing people, and try some pretty tasty Mexican food along the way! Canada doesn't have Border Cafe, so touché, USA.

How to Avoid High School Acquaintances Over Thanksgiving Break

Thankful Turkey
Avoid high school 'friends' this Thanksgiving about as well as the Harvard Turkey avoids traffic.

Thanksgiving break, a time to run away from the stress of looming exams (and pretend any Harvard-Yale mistakes don’t even exist). A time to retreat back into simpler comforts, like a proper shower, your own bed, and, most importantly, home cooked foods. But wait...what about all those mild acquaintances from high school who you “promised” to catch up with over break that now fill you with dread? Looking to avoid the painfully awkward and horribly predictable Harvard lawsuit and final club sanction small talk? Here’s our step by step guide to avoiding those obligatory friend meet-ups.

Pretend you aren’t back home until the latest possible moment

Turn off your find my friends, snap maps, and cleanse yourself from any other virtually trackable behavior. Now just hope you don’t run into anyone while out at your favorite restaurants, or better yet just stay hidden away in your room and Postmates (or have your mom bring you) your meals. That’s what vacations are for anyways, right?

Family first

Your parents have planned to spend the break shooting your winter holiday card while everyone’s together. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, and multiple location changes make this production fill up the whole entire day with family time. What a bummer!

When in doubt, the appointments excuse is your best friend

Dentists, doctors, therapists, dermatologists, gynecologists — you name it! The more persistent someone is about meeting up, the more graphic detail you should give about that pressing health concern of yours that just absolutely needs to be taken care of.

Fake it ‘til you make it

Whatever you do, be sure to give off an appearance of regret that the plans won’t work out. Send a sad face emoji, but not too many. You’d hate for them to press for an alternate time.

And let’s be honest, odds are whoever you are trying to avoid doesn’t really want to meet up with you either. So we’ll just all keep signing off texts with loose commitments to “catch up” over winter break only to do this all over again come December.

Something for You to Be Thankful For

As Thanksgiving approaches, you may begin feeling tempted to list out things that you’re grateful for. Some years, making this list is easy; other times, it’s really hard, which makes you feel pretty awful if you know you’re living an enormously privileged life. Whatever the case is this year, Flyby’s here to get you started on your List of Things You’re Thankful For.

Sleep

Sleeping is one of those rare activities that is both incredibly healthy and incredibly enjoyable. If you slept in today, that’s clearly a luxury to be thankful for. And if you didn’t get the chance to sleep in, you can consider yourself grateful to have found the motivation to get up — and try to get some sleep tomorrow.

Winter

Fans of wintry weather can feel fortunate that a lot of it is coming their way. If you personally could do without the freezing temperatures, you can smile (although perhaps a bit weakly) about how, by tonight, you’ll be one day closer to when it gets warm again.

Christmas Music

Similar concept here — if you love it, enjoy! And if you somehow don’t, the end of Christmas music season is getting closer with every passing minute. We get it, even our ability to listen to Mariah Carey is not endless.

A Break

A large swath of time with no classes is coming soon, which is something everybody should feel thankful for. If, for some reason, you love classes so much you aren’t grateful for break, you can take that negativity somewhere else. You’re probably a positive enough person that you don’t need gratitude help from this list, anyway.

And there you have it, the start of your Thankful List. Flyby sends our best wishes for coming up with the rest of it. Happy start of the holiday season!

How to Field Harvard Questions at the Thanksgiving Dinner Table

How to Field Harvard Questions at the Thanksgiving Dinner Table
As excited as you undoubtedly are to consume your body weight in turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, a part of you can’t help but dread the brutal questions that you will have to endure from all of your relatives at the dinner table. Here is Flyby’s guide to figuring out just how to skirt those unwanted conversations.

The classic “Do you have a significant other?”

If you’re cuffed, then good for you. You can suffer the shame of your relatives liking your significant other more than you, while the rest of us have to settle for answering with, “While many suitors have requested the pleasure of my time, I feel as if I would be doing my parents a great injustice if I were to utilize my precious years at Harvard engaging in dalliances when my time could be better employed embracing self-growth and the pursuit of intellectual knowledge.”

The dreadful “How are your classes?”

Rather than attempt to explain just how Greek Hero supplements your concentration or increases your mental capacity in any way, choose one class that you wrote a relatively decent paper for, memorize that paper, and proceed to recite it as a way to showcase your overall cognitively-intensive course load. Pro tip: only refer to your classes as the course catalogue number and not the course title. SLS12 sounds so much more intellectual than “Understanding Darwinism.”

The appalling “How are your Harvard classmates?”

If you thought being compared to your high school best friend was hard, try being compared to child prodigies, Broadway stars, and worst of all, National Rubik’s Cube champions. Field this question with, “My classmates at Harvard are a valuable resource and we each have much to offer one another.” If this does not satisfy the crowd, toss in the fact that you walked past some minor celebrity the other day, and let them “ooh” and “ahh” over that. That should keep the sharks at bay for a while at least.

The ghastly “What are you doing after college?”

Ease their financial concerns by telling them with an air of confidence, “I have something lined up.” If they call you out on your BS, tell them that you have an important meeting to finalize plans, but you’ll keep them updated. Then, flee the country.

And if all else fails, activate your grandmother as a shield by telling her woeful tales of HUDS food until she fends off all questions from your relentless relatives and lets you stuff your face in peace.

The Game 2018: A Harvard-Yale Playlist

Last time The Game was at Harvard, this Flyby writer can remember hearing “Closer” by The Chainsmokers a solid 10 times over the course of the weekend. What we’re not going to do this year is have boring party playlists, thanks. We put together some of our favorite gameday jams to get you foot-tapping your way to Saturday.

I Like It // Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin

Honestly, if this song doesn’t play once at a party, it’s not a freaking party. There, we said it. “I Like It” is infinitely danceable, so turn this on if you want your pregame to go from 0 — people standing around and talking — to 100 — everyone jumping and singing, “Oh, he’s so handsome, what’s his name?”

High Hopes // Panic! At The Disco

We’re big fans of Pray For The Wicked, the most recent Panic! album. This song is in case you and your friends aren’t as into rap or trap. And who amongst us doesn’t have high hopes for the football team this year? Harvard beat Columbia… Yale lost to Columbia… you do the math. That’s totally how sports works.

DONTTRUSTME // 3OH!3

It’s always a good idea to toss a ‘00s throwback in your playlists so we can all relive the time we were...preteens. Honestly, though, this electro bop has surprising staying power. If you don’t believe us, put it on at a party and see how many people yell the “I’m a vegetarian” line.

All Star // Smash Mouth

This doesn’t need an explanation, does it? “All Star” is the vibe you hope you and your team will bring to the afterparty. And even if Harvard doesn’t come out on top, the song slaps, and everyone will thank you for playing it. So, really, either way you win.

Like what you hear? Follow our Spotify account, where you’ll find all our playlists. Don’t like it? Tell us about it. Shoot a message to flyby@thecrimson.com, especially if you have ideas for more songs we can include.

Your Guide to Gameday Events

This year's gameday won't look quite like this. But hopefully we can still have fun!

We all know that Harvard’s programming for game day has proven to be disappointing for some, but the fact remains that mooching off of the school’s food and alcohol beats receiving passive-aggressive Venmo requests from your roommate for the rest of the semester. If you’re looking for a school-sponsored place to pregame, postgame, or just to grab some free food to line your small intestine before a Burnette’s pull, check out the events the Office of Student Engagement has planned for us:

9:30-11:15 a.m. Harvard-Yale On-Campus Student Gathering

Location: Science Center Plaza

Start your Harvard-Yale morning at the Science Center Plaza, where students from both colleges will gather for food, drinks (there will be a bar for 21+ students!), and socialization before buses come to take us all to Fenway.

10-11:45 a.m. Harvard-Yale Fenway Student Gathering

Location: Ipswich Lot

If you make it to Fenway, head over to Ipswich Lot (at the corner of Ipswich and Van Ness Streets) for music, giveaways, and—of course—free food and alcohol. Then go watch the game, I guess.

Note, this is another student gathering — not a “tailgate.” (By this title, the administrators seem to expect Harvard-Yale students will hold hands in a circle singing Kumbaya.)

10 p.m.-2 a.m. Hotspot

Location: SOCH Room 104

Described as “A queer AF Harvard-Yale afterparty,” Hotspot will be hosted by the Harvard College Queer Students and Allies group (QSA) to celebrate the game finally being over. Bring your student ID to the SOCH and get ready to dance/stave off the beginning of your hangover!

No matter which events you end up going to (even if it’s none of them), Flyby wishes you a fun, safe, and successful game day!

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